Loyola University Maryland

Graduate Program in Liberal Studies

Testimonials

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Hear and see what some of our current students have to say about why they chose Loyola's liberal studies graduate program.

 

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Ted Alsedek
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Garrett McPartland
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Heather Sympson
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Katie Kellermann

“Every program should be like this”

Jon Barnes, LS Class of 2010

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Favorite class:  “Electronic Revolution: American Culture and McLuhan's Global Village”

Current career: Director of Communications at a Maryland Advertising Agency

Past careers/industries: Youth Pastor, Design Firm CEO, FDA/USDA regulatory compliance

Hobbies: YouTube Celebrity, custom cars

Family: Wife and 2 busy boys (soon to be 3)

Community: Church, Boy Scouts

The first thing that attracted me to Loyola’s LS program was the intriguing list of course offerings. Browsing through the course catalog made me feel like a kid in a candy shop; I couldn’t believe these would be the kinds of classes I’d be taking and getting credit for. Every other program I looked at was loaded with forgettable titles, burdensome prerequisites and snoozy course offerings but the ones I saw offered in this program captivated me and grabbed my attention. When I found out you could take the courses in any order and at three different locations I was sold, I called off my search for a graduate program and applied to Loyola.  

I’ll be honest, at first I wondered what this program would really equip me to do, especially if I changed course professionally down the road. Starting a graduate program is a big investment and I knew the program I chose should have some substantial payoff, professionally speaking. Choosing Loyola was certainly the right choice however. I’d leave each class feeling like my classmates and I dug deep into the bedrock of the universe. I’d wrestle with the material for days, teach it to others, blog about it, use it- I think this is what grad school is supposed to be about. It’s the perfect combination of collaboration, reading, discussing and communicating, all skills that I’ve needed for each career move I’ve made.

Want to talk about flexibility?  Loyola’s Liberal Studies program is about as flexible and student-focused as you can get, even if you have kids or commute. From the multiple locations to the non-linear course offerings, Loyola has created a program that really gets itself out of the way and lets students jump right into the learning experience instead of navigating through a mire of institutional details. Every program should be like this, it’s a model that actually makes sense for how people live and work today.

Pursing my Master’s with Loyola was extremely rewarding and probably the most fun I’ve had in a classroom. It was worth every penny.  The friendships I’ve made with both professors and students are ones that I still maintain today and for that I’m very grateful. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

No matter what’s next in your career, Loyola’s LS program makes sense.

The Confessional Narrative

Jason Brown, LS Class of 2014

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Jason Brown and family

Prior to commencement in May 2014, Jason Brown spoke to Loyola magazine about his personal story of redemption and what the liberal studies program meant to him. Below is an excerpt from that interview.  

You have said that education has helped repair your life. How has the classroom and community experience in the liberal studies program aided in your transformation? Has the Jesuit experience had any effect on you?

I found the classroom discussions in liberal studies to be catalysts in developing new patterns of thinking. I was encouraged to question what had been generally accepted by most people, and fundamentally examine the basis for human interactions.

This analysis sent me on a search to find a whole new philosophy of life, one that could explain my existence to myself and (hopefully) to others.

The theory I have arrived at encompasses the Jesuit traditions in a modern manner that reflects the tremendous impact that this magnificent setting has had upon my education and my spiritual renewal.

Students may complete a capstone project, which results in a sustained composition and presentation, to conclude their liberal studies coursework. For your project you chose to write a confessional memoir. Can you tell us about the writing process and what you learned from it?

The liberal studies program presents students with the option to complete six credits as a capstone project. The first part is called the pre-capstone. It involves heavy reading and research.

For this phase I immersed myself in memoir theory and examples of memoir. I used three of these works: Confessions by St. Augustine, Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey to craft a 35-page paper on confessional narrative. In this paper, I argue that when one names the author’s past—specifically through confession—they free themselves to take ownership over their actions and, therefore, are able to better dictate their future.

As an example of taking such control over one’s own existence through confessional narrative, I completed the capstone project by writing four confessional short narratives of my own. I hope to add a few more and publish the works as a collection of shorts confessions that add up to the story of my own transformation, which is ongoing.

Read Jason's full interview with Loyola magazine